The Supreme Court on Monday sought the CBI’s response on the bail plea of suspended Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian,who is in judicial custody in connection with the alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauserbi.
“We are inclined to consider your bail petition. We are issuing the notice,” a bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
Responding to a query on the status of the trial,senior advocate Ram Jethmalani,appearing for Pandian,said,”I am in jail for last nearly seven years and the records,running into over 3,000 pages,are yet to be received by the trial judge.”
The court has now posted the matter for hearing on January 13.
The IPS officer has moved the apex court after the Bombay High Court on November 20 rejected his bail application.
The CBI had opposed the bail application in the high court saying that the police officer is a key accused who had picked up the duo from Hyderabad before they were killed in the alleged fake encounter.
Pandian,along with IPS officer Abhay Chudasma,Rajasthan cadre IPS officer Dinesh M N and other low-rank policemen are lodged in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai after the Supreme Court transferred the trial in the case to Mumbai from Ahmedabad.
The other accused IPS officer,D G Vanzara,was brought back to Ahmedabad in connection with the case of alleged encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others and remains lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail. Former minister of state for home and BJP leader Amit Shah,who is out on bail,is also an accused in the case.
Sheikh and his wife were allegedly abducted by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a suspected fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November